Youth march against sexual violence, forced marriage

Muslim girl
Shakti Youth says acknowledging that forced marriage does happen here is a start. Photo credit: Getty

It's hoped a march through central Auckland on Saturday will silence misconceptions about forced marriage and rape culture.

Shakti Youth is gathering young people from all cultural backgrounds to walk through Britomart this afternoon.

"Shame from your community is a really big issue for parents and their children who are migrants," youth co-ordinator Emma Cho told Newshub.

"Often their communities are so small everyone knows everyone and what's happening, and that's why disclosures are actually a really huge issue."

Ms Cho says young people also feel like their parents sacrificed a lot to get to Aotearoa, so they stay quiet.

She says acknowledging that forced marriage does happen here is a start.

"We've had cases where we've had a 21-year-old woman who asked for help by dialling 111 and they didn't really believe she could be forced to marry as an adult, because they thought she could just say no."

The march kicks off in Britomart at 1pm.

"It's really important we empower these people looking for help and services to be able to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services, because services like Shakti are not funded for dealing with sexual violence."

Shakti Youth is an organisation which works to empower women of colour.

Newshub.